Our team of experts were on form last week with NINE out of TEN suggested best bets winning. Just for good measure they weighed in with a correct score 11.00 stunner.
This week they take you through the tricky Premier League minefield of games which include Steven Gerrard’s Anfield farewell and Hull’s likely relegation.
Remember, you can get your club, however large or small, its own tailor-made betting service – FREE – and start benefiting now! See myclubbetting.com for details.
Southampton (Odds: 1.76) still have an outside chance of finishing fifth and qualifying for the Europa League, but are five points behind Liverpool with only two matches remaining.
Rumours that Liverpool may avoid the long treks around strange places in Europe on Thursday nights have yet to be confirmed. Cynics will say: Let’s hope so!
In any case, Southampton need two wins and anything less will scupper their chances.
Villa (4.80) are not quite out of the relegation mire but there must be a freakish set of results for them to lose their status.
Saints have won just three of the last 14 meetings, losing six, and they have won just once at home in the last six meetings. Villa have also scored on their last six trips to St Mary’s.
The conclusion should be a home win, but for their historical record against the Villains. We’ll take a draw.
VERDICT: Southampton 1 Aston Villa 1 @ 7.00
BEST BET: Draw at HT @ 2.10
Rangers (Odds: 2.96) are now relegated and everybody seems to be blaming somebody else. Isn’t that always the case?
Harry Redknapp departed the scene in February making his excuses and Chris Ramsay has carried the can, but is on the verge of signing a new two-year contract. Despite the drop, it will be thoroughly deserved.
Charlie Austin has been one of few bright spots for Rangers and is the second-highest English scorer in the Premier League this season. He could, ironically, be on his way to Newcastle (2.34) at the end of the season.
Even many Toon fans are hoping for relegation to bring about a change of ownership and direction. A massive club, starved of success for so long, they may well be a force should they re-sign Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan from West Ham. They need players who care about the club which has too much negativity swirling around it.
Current and season-long form points to a stalemate, but Rangers have won 1 of the last 12 meetings and, given that 12 of the last 14 meetings were won by the odd goal, we take Newcastle to nick it.
BEST BET: Newcastle win, draw no bet @ 1.71
This is a classic end-of-season match involving two teams with little to play for except the ‘honour’ of finishing tenth in the table.
Everton are one of the biggest bogey sides for the Hammers. It has been that way for decades. The Hammers have not won any of their last 16 meetings (winning an FA Cup game on penalties does not count).
Both sides have scored in 12 of the last 14 meetings, but West Ham have been largely impotent up front in recent weeks and several players have to take a long, hard look at themselves over the summer.
Sam Allardyce must be tearing his hair out with several of them, who simply have not put a shift in when required. And that isn’t the West Ham way. The loyal fans can take most things, but lack of effort is not one of them.
In a fixture that is difficult to call, backing a side with character is usually the best way forward when you expect two teams to go through the motions. West Ham have not shown much character lately, and while the draw looks the obvious route, Everton invariably give West Ham fits and they may sneak a win by the odd goal.
VERDICT: West Ham 0 Everton 1 @ 8.20
BEST BET: Both teams to score – No @ 2.04
In some respects this is a must-win match for both sides but a draw would suit both perfectly.
In no way is there a suggestion of a contrived result, but deep down the players may not put in a proper shift in the knowledge that a point each could take them both to safety.
Sunderland (Odds: 2.70) also have a game in hand of the other four teams still with relegation worries, but won’t have a more winnable match before the end of the season.
Leicester (2.72) have found their best form at a crucial stage of the season and avoiding defeat would land Newcastle and Hull in further trouble.
Leicester have not won any of the last six meetings, but are on a run of five successive wins on a Saturday – something not achieved by any Premier League side since 2007.
Twelve of the last 16 meetings saw less than three goals scored.
Leicester are playing with confidence, but a draw is perhaps all they can hope for.
BEST BET: Sunderland score exactly 2 goals @ 3.80
Burnley (2.66) are relegated. They will be playing for pride and avoiding the shame of finishing bottom of the table, which would add to the hurt of an immediate return to the Championship.
They have won just six of 36 league matches, scoring 27 goals and conceding 53. Yet they have played attractive football and have been prudent with the wage bill. They may well make an immediate return if they can keep hold of players like Danny Ings. Seann Dyche should be in the running for manager of the year, despite relegation.
Stoke (2.78), managed by another top coach in Mark Hughes, cannot finish higher than 9th or lower than 11th, which is the epitome of mid-table mediocrity.
Stoke have won two of their last eight trips to Turf Moor and there have been four draws in the last 11 meetings.
Nine of the last 10 meetings saw less than three goals scored and another low-scoring encounter is on the cards.
Hunger and desire could be the key to the outcome of this fixture and Stoke have only won five of 18 road matches this season.
Burnley could send their fans home with some joy by winning their last home game of the season.
VERDICT: Burnley 2 Stoke City 1 @ 9.20
BEST BET: Both teams to score @ 1.87
The Boomtown Rats did not like Mondays. Who can blame them?
Hull (Odds: 4.60) have a bigger problem. They don’t like May. Not one little bit. For the Tigers have never won a Premier League game in the month, losing eight and drawing three of their last 11.
In their final game next week, Hull face a Manchester United side with the incentive to finish higher than fourth.
Two points adrift of safety, now would be a good time to lay the bogey.
Spurs (1.78) have won seven of the last 12 meetings, drawing two and losing two, and can finish in the Europa League spot. The question is whether they want to or not.
Unless Harry Kane bags a couple of hat-tricks, he won’t be overhauling Sergio Aguero as the league’s top scorer. Spurs can do without Thursday night football.
VERDICT: Tottenham 1 Hull City 1 @ 7.40
BEST BET: Hull to score @ 1.51
The painfully long goodbye continues and there are sure to be tears before bedtime as Steven Gerrard takes a final bow at Anfield.
The Liverpool (1.45) captain will no doubt return to manage the club one day, should he so wish.
But for now, he’s off to ply his trade in America. So will there be one last Anfield hurrah? A penalty to be awarded may appear a feasible bet, as the S-Words (sentiment and simulation) may come into play.
Liverpool have won just five of the last 18 meetings, but they have won five of the last six clashes at Anfield. Palace (7.60) have scored at least once in the last eight meetings and 10 of the last 13 meetings saw three goals or more. We will ride those trends and waves of sickly sweet emotion. Thanks for the memories, Stevie G. It’s been emotional.
VERDICT: Liverpool 4 Crystal Palace 1 @ 21/1
BEST BET: Most goals in second half @ 2.04
Manchester City (1.71) can finish up as first of the losers should they win both of their final two games. That may be good enough for Manuel Pellegrini to keep his job managing the oldest team in the Premier League.
Swansea (4.90) won their third successive Premier League game when defeating an Arsenal side whom they invariably have matched up well with over the years.
The Swans have lost four of the last five meetings and there are usually a few goals when these two clash – seven of the last 11 has seen at least three goals scored.
Bafetimbi Gomis has now scored four goals in his last four Premier League appearances for the Swans, who don’t appear to have missed Wilfied Bony since he moved to City.
This should be a routine win, possibly by the odd goal. City have too much at stake to fluff their lines.
VERDICT: Swansea 0 Man City 2 @ 8.80
BEST BET: Man City score first @ 1.50
It appears likely that one of these two will have to play in the UEFA Champions League qualifying playoffs, rather than heading straight to the Group stage.
That is the fate awaiting the fourth-place finisher.
Arsenal’s 2-1 FA Cup win at Old Trafford was their first in the last 17 visits and United have not lost successive meetings since 2007.
The Gunners (Odds: 2.94) have a poor overall record and they have had a few problems in front of goal in recent games. Perhaps Olivier Giroud is not the answer up front that Arsene Wenger had hoped he would become.
United (2.42) have been very in and out over the past few weeks themselves. Neither side is water-tight at the back. We like the trend of goals in this fixture: 13 of the last 21 meetings has seen three or more goals scored.
Take United to steal the points and mask the on-going problem of a manager who still does not appear to know his best formation. A draw is perhaps the best the Gunners can hope for on this occasion, even if no team has managed to score against them in the first half since Southampton did so on New Year’s Day. Still, they will probably lose.
VERDICT: Man Utd 3 Arsenal 1 @ 17.50
BEST BET: Man Utd lead at HT @ 2.90
Monday Night Mogadon? Baggies Before Bedtime? We are sure Sky will come up with something a little catchier.
We could ply you with stats, could tell you that Chelsea have won 17 of the last 21 meetings (drew two, lost two), but we have that end of season ‘meh’ feeling as well. So we won’t.
Never mind. At the same time as this likely snooze-fest, Inspector George Gently is on BBC1. Apparently, he “suspects murder when a man supposedly throws himself off the Tyne Bridge”.
Let’s hope it isn’t art imitating life. Because if QPR get a win…
And because we think it will be a boring after-thought of a game, it probably will be a goal-fest!
VERDICT: West Brom 2 Chelsea 3 @ 28.00
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